The activities of Icelandic crime groups abroad are much broader than would be deduced from the discussion of organized crime in Iceland, says Superintendent Karl Steinar Valsson, who heads the international unit of the national police commissioner.
In conversation with journalists mbl.is, said Icelandic crime groups are known, for example, to operate in Spain, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Denmark and South America.
Their main activity is the trafficking of illegal drugs, drugs, but these groups are also involved in activities such as money laundering.
“We usually focus on foreign groups in Iceland” says Karl Steinar. “But it’s not that simple.”
He explains that some Icelandic organized crime groups have little involvement in criminal activities here in Iceland. Their main activities are carried out in the countries where they live.
“Drug trafficking and money laundering go hand in hand. Mostly their activities are carried out in Europe, but also in South America and Australia “– he notes.
He adds that the police assume that the vast majority of these groups are using legitimate money laundering companies. The same is true for Iceland. “Some companies in Iceland are known for this, and others we can guess.”
Karl Steinar notes that the discussion in Iceland tends to focus on foreign crime groups responsible for organized crime in Iceland. The reality, however, is much more complicated. There are Icelandic crime groups, as well as foreign ones and those with different nationalities.
“We Icelanders strive for simple solutions”, sums up, “But things are often much more complicated.”